FOOTBALL: Home to Rothwell Corinthians this weekend

Still second in the table, conceding just three goals in last 12 hours of play

Friday, 23rd November 2018, 8:06 am
Romario Martin has been away on international duty but has decided to pursue his non-league career elsewhere Picture by Martin Pulley

Rugby Town are back at Butlin Road this weekend, when struggling Rothwell Corinthians visit in the United Counties League Premier Division.

Town returned from Lincolnshire last Saturday with another maximum return, having seen off the challenge of Pinchbeck at Spalding United’s Sir Halley Steward Field ground after an ill-tempered encounter saw Valley ease home by a 3-0 margin.

It was a vital win for Carl Adams’s men, as it increased the gap between them and the (now placed fourth) hosts to five points.

Meanwhile Daventry continued their fine form in coming from behind to snatch a 2-1 win at Peterborough Northern Star to maintain their nine-point advantage at the top over Rugby.

Saturday’s visitors finally secured their first UCL victory of the season at the 13th attempt after a 6-2 triumph over Boston at the weekend.

The win lifted the Northamptonshire club off the bottom of the table on goal difference, although they still come to Butlin Road having amassed a paltry five points in the league so far.

Corinthians were formed in 1934 as a church youth are side and are not to be confused with the now-defunct Rothwell Town - against whom Rugby competed in the Southern League in the 1990s and 2000s.

They were first promoted to UCL Premier level in 2008 and lasted three years before being relegated out of it three years later.

They returned once more in 2015, and finished in 15th place in the division last time round.

Town’s win at Pinchbeck came courtesy of goals from Liam Francis, Lewis Rankin and Fazel Koriya against a home side reduced to ten men after half an hour, when United defender Jack Smith was shown a red card for the third time in eight starts this season.

Pinchbeck manager Ian Dunn and coach Ash Murrell were also both dismissed from the dugout area after showing dissent to the match officials at different points of the game.

Rankin’s goal meant it was seven in eight league outings for him, whilst Koriya scored for the second weekend running in added-time after entering the game as a second half substitute. Francis’s strike was his first in Town colours.

There was another clean sheet for Valley keeper Matt Hill - a day ahead of his 21st birthday, making it seven in 13 UCL matches for the ex-Solihull and Leamington stopper.

Town have now conceded just three goals in the last 12 hours of UCL football and understandably boast the meanest defence in the division overall.

Rugby will be without the suspended Dom Perkins this Saturday, although midfielder Lewis Hayden is back available after his one match ban and would be the likely favourite to return in Perkins’s place in the starting line-up.

Town have a blank weekend next weekend due to the continued participation of scheduled opponents Cogenhoe in the FA Vase, before returning to action at home to current third place incumbents Deeping the following Saturday (8th December).

Deeping took over third spot from Pinchbeck after a weekend success at Kirby Muxloe, although they then went on to suffer a 4-0 home defeat to Oadby on Tuesday evening.

# Striker Romario Martin has left Valley after scoring five goals in eight starts and two substitute appearances at the club. The 19 year old signed from Hednesford in September and his goals included a particularly memorable dead ball strike at home to Northampton ON Chenecks.

He had spent the last month on international duty with St.Kitts & Nevis Under 20’s squad in a CONCACAF tournament in Florida, but has decided on his return to pursue his non-league career elsewhere.